"The government has in place policies to support and guarantee the return [of emigrants] to Portugal,” the secretary of state for communities abroad, José Luís Carneiro, said according to the text provided to Lusa.
“Portugal’s arms are open to those who want to return. Of all generations and of all social classes.”
In the secretary of state’s usual message addressed to emigrants on the occasion of 10 June, Portugal Day, Carneiro also stressed the importance of Portuguese nationals resident abroad in raising Portugal’s profile around the globe.
"Portugal is a larger country with all its communities,” he said. “All communities [together] make up the national community.”
Carneiro also highlighted the realisation of a "new vision" for the diaspora to contribute to Portugal’s economic and social development, notably with the assigning of public utility status to Portuguese chambers of commerce abroad, the creation of the Diaspora Investor Support Office (GAID) and publishing of a Tax Guide for Communities.
Other important parts of his address touched on measures adopted in the fields of culture and the Portuguese language, as well as extra resources and staff for consulates and consular protection provided to Portuguese nationals at risk abroad.
"Unfortunately, there have been many critical moments that we've all been through,” Carneiro said. “Terrorist attacks, accidents, natural disasters, disturbance of public order and conflicts of a civil nature - circumstances that we have all seen with a profound sense of national solidarity.”
In this context, the secretary of state praised the work of consular and diplomatic staff and other state employees "who have helped to ensure the effectiveness of the response … to help Portuguese nationals in danger.”
The official celebrations of Portugal Day are this year to take place in Portalegre, in Portugal’s Alentejo region, and in Cape Verde, with the president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the prime minister, António Costa, and Carneiro himself taking party.
More than a dozen ministers and secretaries of state will also be in several countries to mark Portugal Day along with local Portuguese communities.